Unpresidential


Scene 1

We’re in the oval office.  George W is alone playing with a very elaborate train set.  He has on a train conductor uniform and is announcing to his invisible play mates that the train is leaving the station.  Dick Cheney bursts in.

Dick: George – what on earth are you doing?

George: Hey, check it out.  I got a new engine.

Dick: There’s no time for that!  We have a cabinet meeting in ten minutes and you need to get out of that ridiculous outfit!

George: Aw, c’mon!  I’m still taking a break after that long election.  What’s there to talk about anyway?  I don’t need to be there.

Dick: We can’t have a cabinet meeting without the president.  Besides, this is no time for a vacation – the country expects quick action and we are under deep scrutiny.

George: Quick action?  What the heck am I supposed to do?  We don’t have a majority in the Senate and those sore loser Democrats still hate me.

Dick: Now George, you’re the uniter remember?  We’ve got to enact legislation to reform the election rules.  We’ve still got a chance to get the nation behind us.

George: I don’t know, maybe tomorrow.  I just got this new engine and we’re about to leave the station…

Dick: Now don’t make me have to call your father!

George: Now why do you have to say that?  You’re a tattletale!

Dick: You know how disappointed he’s going to be with you when he hears you’re missing cabinet meetings.

George: Now cut that out!  I shouldn’t have chosen you to be a running mate!

Dick: Now George, we know your Dad chose me so stop trying to pretend…

George: It was my decision! It was!  It was!

Dick: Never mind that now.  Here’s the agenda for the cabinet meeting.  The main thing you’re going to cover is this new election legislation.

George: I can come up with my own agenda!

Dick: Oh yeah?  What do you want to discuss?

George: Um..um…Oh yeah, I want to resolve the Palestinian issue in Kosovo.

Dick: There are no Palestinians in Kosovo!  The Palestinians are in conflict with Israel.

George: Yeah, but I bet the Isrealis would be glad if the Palestinians went to Kosovo.  Ha, ha!  You see, I have a handle on international issues.

Dick: Ah, that’s right, but I don’t think the Palestinians are quite ready to talk to us.  Let’s start with the election rules and we’ll get to your good idea later.

George: OK, but you know the Pulitzer Peace Prize I’m going to win will look good on the mantle back on the ranch.

Dick: Ah yes, George.  Now, on the election rules, we want federal standards for how manual recounts are conducted.

George: Manual recounts?  I thought manual recounts are bad!  Machines are good, humans can’t be trusted!

Dick: Now, now George. It’s okay.  We’ve already won the election.  We just need to set rules for the next election.

George: But I don’t want to lose next time.

Dick: Don’t worry – after the tongue lashing he got from your Dad, Jeb has assured me Florida won’t be as close next time.  Now get changed so we can get this cabinet meeting going!  Alright, change now!

George: OK, OK.  No need to get snippy!

Dick: Since when do you use words like “snippy”?

George: What?  I went to Yale and Harvard.  I can use fancy words too.

Dick: Alright, but don’t let me hear you using that word in public.  I can just hear the snickers now.  Well, I’m going downstairs now.  I’ll stall while you’re getting changed.

George: OK.  Ah Dick?

Dick: What?

George: BOO! (Very loudly)

Dick: What? (confused)

George: Are you okay? Is your heart feeling alright?

Dick: Of course I’m okay?  Why do you ask?

George: Oh nothing, I’ll see you downstairs.

Scene 2

Al Gore and Joe Lieberman are in a parked blue Buick on Pennsylvania Ave. with a view of the White House.  Al is in the driver’s seat staring with an intense scowl at the White House.  Joe is looking at Al with a look of concern.

Joe: Al, I don’t think it was a great idea to come here.

Al: I just had to come back here.  Of course this is as close as I can get since the guards won’t let me in without an appointment.

Joe: Well Al, the White House belongs to the Republicans now.  You can’t be walking in and out of there any time you please like you own the place.

Al: I do own the place!  The election was stolen from me.

Joe: C’mon Al, how can you say that especially after that wonderful concession speech you gave.  You’ve got to let this thing go.

Al: No, that’s why I brought you here.  The concession speech was just the first step in my plan to get the White House back.

Joe: Yes, it was a great speech and we have the support of the entire Democratic Party when we run again in 2004.

Al: No!  I’m not talking about 2004.  I’m talking about this year.  If my plan works, we’ll be in the White House before the Fall.

Joe: Oh no Al!  What on earth are you talking about?  The Supreme Court has ruled.  We used up all legal challenges.  And besides, you’ve already conceded!

Al:  Conceding was just part of the strategy.  Now the Republicans will have a false sense of security.  They won’t be worrying about me as I execute the rest of my plan.

Joe: What?  You mean you plan to take back your concession?  That’s ridiculous!

Al: No it’s not.  I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again.  The American people will understand.  You see all I have to do is get conclusive evidence that the election was stolen from me.  Then we’ll leak the evidence to the press, which will cause a national uproar.  There will be demonstrations across the land forcing W to resign.  I’ll announce that I’m taking back my concession.  Then Congress will have no choice but to select me as the legitimate president.

Joe: Al, I’ve got to tell you.  This all sounds crazy!  Are you telling me you’re willing to put the country through that turmoil?

Al: The White House is mine, gosh darn-it!  I’ve worked hard all my life to be there.  I went to Vietnam.  I went to a monastery.  I served in the House and the Senate.  I invented the Internet and I was the best Vice-President there ever was.  And what the heck did he do?  When I was in Saigon, he was buying keggers for frat parties!

Joe: Al, you sound very bitter.  Have you been praying?  It will help you release the anger.

Al: Save that religious BS for the campaign.  I’m a fighter. Everyone knows that.  I can’t let someone steal something from me and say, “Heh, heh, OK, you got me this time.  I’ll get you next time.”

Joe: But you have to admit your plan is hokey.  I mean, what kind of conclusive evidence are you hoping to find?  Even if you convince most people that we got more votes in Florida, that’s not going to be enough!

Al: Yeah, I’m pretty sure that there were some shenanigans going on with Jeb down in Florida.  I’ve just got to get George and Jeb gloating about it on the phone and they’ll be nailed!

Joe: What?  You mean you want to wire tap the President of the United States?

Al: Why the heck do you think I’ve been trying to get into the White House.  I can slip this bug here (shows device to Joe) under the desk in the Oval Office.  Then all I have to do is wait and listen…

Joe: Al, this is crazy talk!  I don’t want to have anything to do with it.  Besides, I should be going now.  I’ve got important business at the Senate.

Al: Oh yeah, rub it in.  You’ve got a job.  You’re still the Senator.  Meanwhile, what am I supposed to do?  Vice-presidents don’t get to build libraries you know.

Joe: I don’t know, I thought you might write a follow-up to that environmental book…

Al: Don’t you dare patronize me!  You didn’t believe in our campaign enough to not run for the Senate.

Joe: Oh Al, you know I worked as hard as I could to get us elected.  Besides, you should be happy that with me, we at least have a 50-50 tie in the Senate.

Al: So are you with me or not?

Joe: I told you, I don’t want to hear any more about your crazy scheme.  But you’re welcome to come over to the house if you want to engage in some spiritual meditation.  Now, can we please go?  I’m worried some reporter will see us here.

Al: Okay (Al continues to stare wistfully at the White House).

Joe: Uh Al, can we leave please?

Al: OK, OK. (Car drives off).

 

2000 Hugh Molotsi